If you’re a military veteran, I don’t need to tell you what a DD-214 is.

For the rest of you: It’s a document formally known as a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty Form DD-214. It’s proof you served in the military.

That can come in handy when you go to stores or other business establishments that offer discounts or special offers to vets.

But lugging around a DD-214 is a pain in the glove compartment, and it’s something you don’t want to lose, in part because it contains lots of personal information.

Better idea: a wallet-size “military veteran identification card.”

Summit County was one of the first counties in the state to offer them. Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise kicked off the program in May 2013. About 3,000 cards were issued that first year, and the figure now tops 6,700.

But not everyone is thrilled with the way the program works.

Joe Blasio is a Navy vet who served from 1956 to 1960 — or “four years and 29 days,” to be precise, which he was without prompting.

The Cuyahoga Falls resident has been a veteran for 57 years and will continue to be a veteran until the day he dies. So why, he wants to know, do the cards have an expiration date?

Good question.

Veteran ID cards issued before Sept. 8, 2016, are good for only four years. Cards after that date last 10 years.

But if you’re a veteran at age 24, aren’t you still going to be a veteran at 35?

Don’t blame the local folks for that goofy concept. Sarah Hegnauer, Summit’s deputy fiscal officer, says the renewal policy is mandated by the state.

And what were our legislators thinking? The cynic in me immediately figured they were looking for more revenue for the state.

But the cards aren’t exactly cost-prohibitive. The fee for either a new one or a renewal is $1, which probably doesn’t even cover the cost.

So I have no idea what the gang in Columbus was thinking, unless they believe a person is unrecognizable after 10 years and needs an updated photo.

In any event, if you want a card, head to the Summit County Fiscal Office, Recorder Division, Room 411, 175 S. Main St., in downtown Akron during regular business hours, which are weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more info, go to fiscaloffice.summitoh.net or call 330-643-2719.

The recorder’s office, which is managed by the fiscal officer, is in charge of recording and maintaining military discharge papers.

“After separation, retirement or discharge from duty, veterans residing in Summit County record their documents with our office,” Hegnauer says. “We scan them and maintain a copy in our database.”

Unlike most of the information in the recorder’s office, these military records are not public. Only the vet and his/her family members can get a copy.

One of the chief advantages of the cards: Unlike the DD-214, the vet ID cards display only limited information, mainly a photo and current address.

“It is more convenient and safer for veterans to carry the wallet-sized card with them, rather than carry their original discharge papers that contain personal information,” Hegnauer says.

If nothing else, the price is right.

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31.